The English Beat performing their Still Can’t Stop It Tour at Rock City Nottingham on Saturday 16th July 2022

Images and Review by Kevin Cooper

The English Beat were at Rock City on Saturday night and they brought with them a whole load of memories for a crowd that never tires of hearing their hits.

Though the band has gone through several musical changes since its inception, its mainstay has always been singer, songwriter and guitarist, Dave Wakeling, and he and the current line up were in fine form, ripping through a hit laden ninety minute set.

Starting the set with a trio of songs from the band’s first album, 1980’s I Just Can’t Stop It, Prince Buster’s cover Rough Rider was quickly followed by Hands Off…She’s Mine that had the crowd belting back the chorus, before an enthusiastic Twist & Crawl had them moving and bouncing across a collectively sweaty dance floor.

A characteristic of an English Beat concert are the band’s smiles and they did not disappoint as the whole band smiled throughout their set. There was a feverish Click Click and a soaring Save It For Later. There was a powerful version of Whine And Grind which morphed into Stand Down Margaret which got a huge reaction from the crowd when the name Margaret was substituted for Boris.

The band’s toaster, Antonee First Class kept the entertainment levels high between songs with his tongue twisting freestyle rhymes and he provided a powerful foundation for Wakeling particularly on the cover of Andy Williams’ Can’t Get Used To Losing You. There was also the propulsive Too Nice To Talk To before the main set was brought to a close with Rankin’ Full Stop and Mirror In The Bathroom with a welcome sing along led by First Class.

The English Beat would not be allowed to leave without performing their first single, The Tears Of A Clown, their version of the Smokey Robinson and The Miracles classic Motown track, and they did not disappoint. Saving it for the encore they followed up with Jackpot.

The show at Rock City illustrated the effort and charisma of Wakeling and the band, as they delivered a catchy and infectious show. There was no doubting that the crowd would agree that they were well worth the ticket price.